The Ministry of Education has finally disbursed Sh22.4 billion to schools to support free primary and secondary education capitation for the current school term.
Last week the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) wrote to the Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi, asking the ministry to release the funds because the delay was negatively affecting the smooth running of schools.
“As at today the Day of February, 2017, your ministry has failed to disburse the above mentioned funds to schools thus making it impossible for heads of schools and principals to provide services to the students. Critical school programs are grinding to a halt,” Sossion stated in the letter.
Delay in disbursement of the funds had started to affect some school programmes that take place in the first term like drama festivals and ball games.
The government is obligated to send 50 per cent of the funds allocated for each student in the first term, 30 per cent in second term and 20 per cent in third term.
Yesterday the ministry headed the call and released the funds to schools to support various programmes, amidst the persistent drought that has hit a number of regions across the country.
According to a dispatch from the ministry, of the amount, Sh16.1billion has been allocated to the Free Day Secondary Education (FDSE) programme to cater for 2,496,735 learners in 8,361 public secondary schools.
The remaining Sh6.3 billion has been set aside for the Free Primary Education (FPE) program to cater for some 8,879,685 learners in 21,953 public primary schools across the country.
Each learner under the FDSE is set to receive Sh6, 435. This constitutes 50 per cent capitation each student in public secondary schools is entitled to.
The Ministry has also sent Sh499, 347,000 to the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology in Africa (CEMASTEA) to be used under the programme of Strengthening of Mathematics and Science Education (SMASE).
The money was drawn from FDSE funds where Sh200 was deducted from each student to cater for capacity building of Maths and Science teachers under SMASE project at CEMASTEA.
The Free Primary and Free Day Secondary Education is part of government strategy to increase universal access to basic education in line with national educational goals and UNESCO instruments and conventions on education.
The interventions have led to massive increase in enrolment of children in basic education since its introduction in 2003 for FPE and FDSE in 2008.